module specification

ST4F04 - Sports Psychology in Coaching (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Sports Psychology in Coaching
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 20%   Leadership, cohesion and group dynamics in an applied setting (20 min)
Unseen Examination 30%   Short answer unseen exam on group dynamics (1 hour)
Coursework 25%   Motivation, motivational techniques and communication (1500 words)
Coursework 25%   Arousal, aggression and techniques to control both (1500 words)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module explores the psychological theories that help to explain the formation, development and performance of groups. Students will consider their own behaviour as a member of a team and use their knowledge of psychology to understand and explain group dynamics in the coaching context. This provides the understanding to then focus on psychological skills, strategies and techniques, which enhance individual performance. There is a strong emphasis on factors that influence the motivation of sports performers, concentrating on two key areas; motivational theories and motivational techniques. In additional, personality, communication and arousal control are also covered.

Module aims

In this module, students should gain an understanding of group processes in sport and psychological concepts that relate to group behaviour. It should develop students' ability to work effectively as part of a team using their acquired understanding of groups. They will gain an understanding of how motivation, aggression, and arousal can have an effect on an individual’s performance and techniques that can be applied as a coach to manage these. In addition they will gain an insight into the strategies to communicate more effectively as a coach with athletes.


Psychology of Groups:
• Group formation (linear and cyclical), group structure (roles and norms), team climate, and maximising performance (Steiner’s model, Ringlemann effect and social loafing); Cohesion and developing cohesion; Leadership, approaches, and theories; Social Facilitation (Co-action effect, Home advantage, Audience effect).

Psychology of Individuals:
• Types and theories of motivation, techniques to improve motivation, personality, arousal, aggression, communication (types/listening/dealing with confrontation/feedback) and psychological skills training

Learning and teaching

The first semester of the module is dedicated to gaining an understanding of the psychology behind group dynamics and improving group performance. This will enable learners to have a baseline understanding to progress onto semester two which is based around understanding the factors impacting on individual athletes. This will provide them with a well-rounded approach to both individual and team sport athletes.

The module material is delivered to learners using a combination of scheduled teaching and guided independent study. Scheduled teaching comprises of a lecture programme as well as practical application of knowledge learnt. Guided independent study is supported by material on Moodle. Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning throughout the module and particularly in periodic independent-study weeks.

During induction, students are shown how to use ProMonitor, available from MyCandi which allows them to monitor their progress, record their personalised learning goals, and reflect on their learning through the ability to record comments on their personalised learning plan page throughout the year.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module section students will be able to:
1. Explain how team and group behaviour, group cohesion, and leadership, affect performance.
2. Participate effectively in a group task and reflect on own behaviour, applying to relevant theories
3. Demonstrate an understanding of how motivation theories and motivational techniques can be applied to improve sports performance
4. Evaluate how communication can be used to effectively improve sports performance
5. Explain theories of arousal and aggression, providing advice on how they can be controlled

Assessment strategy

Semester 1 - Group Psychology
Assessment will be in the form of short answer unseen exam (30%, Learning Outcome 1) and a group presentation (20%, Learning Outcome 2), comprising of both tutor and self-assessment. These assessments enable students to show how much they have learnt under exam conditions as well as improve communication and presentation skills in the form of a group presentation.

Semester 2 - Individual Psychology
Assessment will be in the form of two pieces of assessed coursework, covering the Learning Outcomes 3, 4 and 5. The first assesses learners understanding of motivation, motivational techniques and communication (25%, 1500 words, covering Learning Outcomes 3 and 4). The second assesses learners understanding of aggression and arousal including how they can be controlled (25%, 1500 words, covering Learning Outcome 5).

An aggregate mark of 40% or more must be obtained in order to pass the unit overall.


Essential Reading:
Weinberg, R. and Gould, D. (2010) Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Illinois: Human Kinetics Publishers

Recommended Reading:
Carron, A.V. and Eys, M.A. (2011) Group Dynamics in Sport, USA: Fitness Information Technology

Cox, R. H. (2011) Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications, New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

Leith, L (2003) The Psychology of Coaching Team Sports, London: Sport Books Publishers

The Sport Psychologist
Journal of Applied Sports Psychology
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
International Journal of Sport Psychology